Nowadays, wedding photographers want to provide their clients with quality and fascinating photos. The per cent of shooters, who do wedding photo editing themselves, is decreasing. Simultaneously, the rest cooperate with online wedding photo retouching. If you want to do image retouching on your own, there are wedding photography editing tips for you to raise your level of wedding photo editing.
Sometimes professional photographers, likewise, don’t just take a photo and call it a day. They use various editing techniques to revise an image to look the way they want it, not the way it is. Some of these techniques involve on-site equipment adjustments, while others involve post-processing editing. (And don’t think this is solely a modern phenomenon. The art of photography has involved the manipulation of images since the 1800s.)
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Don’t think you need to create professional-grade images right away. Get familiar with your equipment, explore your photo-editing software, and learn to stop worrying and enjoy editing. Great photos will come, some failures will happen, but you’ll never see your efforts as time wasted if you love the process itself.
To get your experiments started, consider emulating the style of one of your favourite photographers. Maybe you like a photographer who edits for vivid, surreal colours, or perhaps one who uses a lighter touch for more realism. Whatever the case, recreating a specific photographer’s style will not only help you get used to your equipment but may even produce some impressive results. Check out our range of wedding photography for your wedding day.
The Basics of Exposure
Exposure is the amount of light that hits the film or, nowadays, an image sensor. Understanding exposure is essential for editing, as manipulating it correctly will produce an image you want to work with. There are three major components to exposure (aka the Exposure Triangle).
- ISO – the camera’s light sensitivity.
The lower the ISO, the darker the image and vice versa.
- Aperture – the hole in the lens that lets light through.
Small apertures create a considerable depth of field and vice versa.
- Shutter speed – the speed at which the shutter opens to let in light.
The slower the speed, the more light is let in.
By tweaking these components, you’ll get photos of varying focus, clarity, colour saturation, depth of field, and so on. This will directly affect the quality of images you work with post-process editing, so you should become familiar with each one.
You can find a detailed discussion of the Exposure Triangle at Photography Life, and Improve photography has a great cheat sheet to get started.
Low Light Tips
Low-light photography can be difficult, but since so many family moments take place in the late evening—sporting events, trick-or-treating, summer art walks, the list goes on—learning to shoot in these less-than-ideal conditions is worth it.
Three essential low-light tips are:
- Use a large aperture to let in more light
- Increase the ISO for a brighter image
- Slow down the shutter speed to limit motion blur. The resulting image may be a bit grainy, but this can be tempered in post-process editing. If you’re using Photoshop, for example, you can find a “Reduce Noise” tool under Filter.
Best resolution? That depends on how you plan to use the photo.
For print projects such as photo books, the higher the resolution, the better the image will look. Not sure if the photo will make it in? Then shoot at a high resolution anyway. You can always scale it down.
Online images are an exception. They typically sport a PPI (pixels per inch) of 72 because this resolution prevents long load times while still looking decent on a monitor. But online images look blurry in print, so again, better to shoot high and scale down.
Editing programs do offer an option to upscale resolution. Photoshop’s Resample Image tool increases an image’s PPI. Consider it a Band-Aid solution, though, as the pictures aren’t as clean as if they were initially shot at the desired resolution.
Tips for Resizing Photos
Today’s programs make resizing a photograph easier than ever. In Photoshop, the Image Size option is housed under the Image tab and allows you to adjust the image’s pixel dimensions, document size, and resolution.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with framing when resizing. If you’re shrinking the image, for example, you may want to move some of the shot out of frame and re-centre the subject. Alternatively, when making an appearance more significant, you may want to slide the matter over to create some dynamic negative space.
Forgot to resize the image before starting your photo book? Don’t worry about it. Motif has native resizing tools that can quickly and efficiently get the photo to the size you need.
Tips for Focus
Don’t be afraid to turn off autofocus and give manual focus a chance. Yes, that sounds scary, but hear us out.
Modern cameras have incredibly advanced autofocus, but occasionally, you’ll find the camera “hunting” for the subject you want to focus on. Using manual focus gives you much more freedom to compose the shot you want. Instead, use single autofocus. This tells your camera that you will be focusing on a single subject, and there’s no need to make everything in the shot super crisp.
The exception is if you are trying to capture an active target. In that case, use continuous autofocus paired with burst mode. Yes, you’ll have a lot of photography detritus to sift through, but there is a good chance one or two images will be just the thing to add life to your photo book.
And let’s not forget our editing software. Photoshop has a Focus Area option to help make your desired subject stand out and a Lens Blur option to defocus the background even more.
Tips for Reducing Motion Blur
The best way to reduce motion blur is to lock that camera down. Get it on a tripod and let engineering do the job for you—it’s a “work smarter, not harder” type situation.
Of course, there will be times a tripod won’t be practical, so you’ll need to get creative. Makeshift tripods like fence posts or public benches can be godsends. You can also make yourself the tripod by leaning against a wall or steadying your arms atop a table.
Since a faster shutter notices movement less, increase your shutter speed. The general rule is “1 over the focal length of the lens.” So if you’re sporting a 100mm lens, the shutter should shoot at 1/100 of a second. If it’s a 200mm lens, the shutter should shoot at 1/200 of a second. And so on.
You can further lessen motion blur in the post-process. Photoshop has a Shake Reduction option under the Filter tab. If you’re going for a motion blur effect, select Motion Blur, also under the Filter tab, to give your image some zing. Wild Romantic Photography has the best range of services of wedding photography Yarra Valley. Check them out here.
Landscape Photography Tips
This is a great place to practice professional editing techniques. Landscapes provide so many different ways to experiment, and the results can vary wildly while still looking pleasing.
When shooting, try a polarizing lens. It will reduce reflection, suppress glare, and darken that sky. You’ll also want to keep the foreground and backgrounds sharply in focus to maintaining that sense of depth, giving the viewer a sense of being there. Pair a small aperture with a slow shutter speed and keep that camera steady.
Then sharpen the details in editing. Deepen those blacks, up the clarity, and use any option to remove noise (graininess). There’s no wrong or correct answer here. Just keep adjusting it until the photo shows the elusive wow factor that made you take the shot in the first place.
Framing the Subject
Too many shutterbugs centre the subject in their viewfinder and call it a day. Sure, it’s tried-and-true, but it’s also dull. Framing allows you to express yourself through the world, so get out there and try something different.
One way to spruce up a composition is the Golden Ratio. Imagine a Fibonacci Spiral over the frame, and line up the shot, so the points of interest naturally take the viewer’s eyes from the outside spiral to its centre. It’s difficult to explain in words, but you can check out some visual examples here.
You can also look for ways to frame the shot within the frame. Consider a landscape shot through an open window, a child surrounded by playground equipment, or a partner framed by trees outlining a favourite hiking trail.
When editing, remember you can manipulate framing by cropping it, rotating it, or dragging it with your mouse.
Colour sliders can intimidate the uninitiated. There are so many numbers that changes can feel overly dramatic, and the desired palette can be challenging to hone in on.
Our first tip is to consider your desired effect. Are you looking to heighten the colours to levels of surrealism? Then bump up the saturation. Are you looking to make a particular colour stand out? Then don’t forget to toy with its contrast. Are you trying to evoke a specific emotion? Then hitting the warmth slider can add an old-timey effect.
Pay attention to all the colours present in the shot. Your forest landscape may focus on the vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds of a deciduous forest in the fall, but is blue sky peeking behind the canopy? If so, don’t ignore that blue slider.
As we discussed with landscape photography, colour is ultimately an artistic choice, so don’t go in thinking there is a wrong or right answer. The correct answer is the one you find aesthetically pleasing.
The Motif Can Help You Find Your Professional Touch.
These photo editing tips and tricks will start you on the path toward more professional-looking photographs. Also, the motif can provide additional support once it comes to creating a photo book to display your work.
Its Autoflow option uses advanced technology to analyze your shots. Motif looks for focus, clarity, framing, orientation, and the like to select your best images. Not only is it helpful in sorting through your photos, but it can also help you see the value in a photo you may have overlooked. When designing your layout, motif comes equipped with intuitive tools that make adjusting your photos feel like second nature.
Give motif a try and see how a beautiful photo book can be the perfect place to show off your professional-looking photography. Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.
How to Edit Wedding Photos in Lightroom
Lightroom is one of the most popular photo editing programs, enabling retouchers to enhance hundreds of photos and do it as quickly as possible. However, the program may be relatively useless if you have no idea how to use various tools and functions properly. At Wild Romantic, we have the best wedding photographer in Mornington Peninsula to capture every single moment on your wedding day.
Photo Culling With Flags and Stars
Primarily you need to determine the images, which have to be improved. Photo culling is the quickest way to do it. Lightroom features two handy tools to perform such an action – Flags and Stars. You need to select each shot and mark it with a tiny flag in the top left corner. Besides, you can press 1-5 buttons and give a star to every picture. In such a way, you will see what images have to be edited and which ones deleted.
Use Lightroom Presets
There are many ready-mades presets online: Cool, Warm, Pastel, Matte, B&W, Film, Sepia, etc. You can buy or download the collection you like. Moreover, it is possible to create your bundle to speed up colour correction. All in all, wedding photography editing becomes much faster if you use adjustable Lr plug-ins to enhance your photos.
Improve the Exposure
If you use presets, remember to adjust the exposure. First of all, make the general adjustments and concentrate on Highlights, Whites, Shadows, and Blacks. You need to regulate parameters individually for each shot.
Adjust Saturation, Hue and Brightness
Be very attentive, regulating the colouring of the picture. The HSL panel gives you a chance to change each indicator separately. If you see that the image is too light or too dark, adjust Brightness. Hue indicator influences shades, while saturation affects the depth of colours. These adjustments are significant for wedding photography editing with the predominance of bright colours in the pictures, e.g. a white dress of the bride.
Regulate Saturation, Hue and Brightness in B&w Shots
Many clients want to get their wedding photos with a monochrome effect. They like this traditional and classy look. You can use the HSL panel to adjust the grey tints of every colour and create beautiful photos.
Sharpen the Picture and Reduce Noise
When you perform picture editing, it is better to zoom it in to see problem areas. Find the Sharpening slider and drag it slightly to see how your picture has been changed. Below you’ll find the tool to reduce noise, which appears as a result of high ISO.
Perfect White Balance
The most effective way to adjust the White Balance is to use the Gradient Tool. Practically every wedding photo editing service WeEdit applies to make the colour of the sky or the grass more intense. It works a similar way with other objects in the photo. When you select any part of the picture, the Gradient Tool affects only this area without changing the rest.
Correct Flaws With Healing Tool
With Healing Tool, you can improve lots of diverse defects in the picture. It is beneficial to remove blemishes on the face or small distracting objects from the photo. If you have more severe flaws to correct, you’ll need Photoshop.
Use the Brush Tool
Lightroom has a unique Brush Tool, which is very useful to whiten teeth or soften skin. Its intensity is regulated with a fantastic slider according to your needs. If you wish to finish the work faster, use the auto-masking tool. Only the critical area will be selected and whitened, while the rest of the photo will remain untouched. This makes wedding photography editing convenient.
Check Exporting Tools
Lightroom offers lots of excellent options and tools to present the finished photos. For instance, you can use this tool to create a slideshow of the ceremony and the party. Besides, you can add a watermark and prevent any copyright violation if you’re going to post these photos online.
How to Setup Your Lightroom Catalog
Create a New Catalogue for Every Job You Photograph.
Think of a Lightroom catalogue as a filing cabinet, and your photos are the “files” inside. You want to keep all of the folders and files inside one filing cabinet at a time. If you were to keep all of your photos inside the same catalogue, archiving and keeping track of your “files” (aka. your photos) is going to become a hassle, and you could get the dreaded question mark (Folder Missing Icon) inside of your catalogue. To keep everything organised, I create a new folder for each client and make the same file set inside their folder, including a Catalog, Images and Print folder. When I am done organising, editing and exporting the images and have delivered them to my clients, I will archive them to my backup drives and, within time, delete them from my computer. If I were to do this while only using one main catalogue, I’m going to have a hard time keep track of all the photos that belong to each job. For me, it’s peace of mind knowing that everything is in ONE place and can be easily opened, archived, and worked on anywhere without ever missing essential photos.
Turn on Automatic Backups and Write the Xmp Data for Each Catalog.
After you’ve created your new catalogue, you should immediately turn on two essential functions of Lightroom every single time. It seems like a no-brainer but turning on Automatic Backup’s every time you quit. Lightroom is just an extra level of protection for your files. Sometimes catalogue’s get corrupted, but if you’ve turned on this feature, you can go into your Catalog > Backups Folder and merely unzip the last saved backup and start working as if nothing happened. It’s 100% worth turning on and takes only a few seconds to complete once you quit the program.
Open Lightroom > Go to the Lightroom Menu > Catalog Settings > In General Tab > Backup > Choose Every Time Lightroom Exits from the drop down menu.
Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips – Automatic Backups
When you edit photos inside Lightroom (and hopefully, you are shooting in RAW), all of the changes you make to the image don’t touch the painting. What’s happening is the data is being written to the “sidecar” file, which is the XMP file. The XMP data correspond on top of your photo like a piece of vellum. It’s only a layer that can be easily removed. However, Lightroom doesn’t automatically process these changes while you are working. Why? I have no idea, so you have to tell the program to do this for you, thus saving you time and energy if the program were to crash and lost all your work. Nobody wants that!
Open Lightroom > Go to the Lightroom Menu > Catalog Settings > In General Tab > Metadata > Check the box next to “Automatically Write Changes to XMP”.
Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips – XMP Data.jpg
Build Your 1:1 Previews for Every Catalogue
I’m sure you’ve heard of Smart Previews when importing your photos into Lightroom. It renders a faster preview of your image so you can edit faster, BUT it’s still not the fastest. It can still take time to render each image inside Lightroom, thus slowing down your editing time. Your pictures can look pixelated until Lightroom catches up and processes the file. I find that when I make the Smart Previews upon import, I still need to build my 1:1 Previews to have my images load instantaneously with absolutely no lag time.
After your images have been imported successfully into Lightroom, select all the photos in the Library Module. Next, go to Library Menu > Previews > Build 1:1 Previews. It will take a while for the previews to load, so I will make myself a cup of tea or respond to emails until the process has completed. Once it’s done, you are ready to edit your images without any rendering or lag time in editing. FINALLY!!
Lightroom has a million shortcuts that will become second nature to you the longer you use the program, and sometimes they change them on you without warning, which is the worst!
Keyboard Shortcut: SHIFT + R – REFERENCE VIEW
My favourite keyboard shortcut is the Reference View. You must be in the Develop Module (D key) for this to work. The Reference View creates a split-screen inside the Develop Module for you to do a SIDE-by-SIDE edit without having to use the pop-up window option anymore. Once it’s selected, you can drag your Reference photo on the LEFT and the right, and you can edit and toggle between photos to match your REFERENCE image. It never moves until you drag and drop a new REFERENCE image to use. Seriously, it’s the BEST shortcut ever for hybrid photographers like myself or anyone looking to match pictures.
Photographers want to share these best practices when it comes to setting up your Adobe Lightroom Catalog because it’s essential to start on the right foot when editing, backup and archiving your photos. Lightroom is an incredible photo editing program with many features that can become very overwhelming when you are first starting.
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